What Fishing Can Teach Us About App Monetization
by Kirill Tyufanov,
Senior Director, SSP
This article originally appeared in Entwickler Magazine (in German).
The mobile space is complicated: around 2.1 billion smartphones around the world, clocking up over 1 trillion minutes of online time in over 3 million apps. Targeting is critical for advertisers and publishers trying to reach the right users. Showing relevant ads results in higher conversions and payouts, and increases retention and engagement.
Many publishers find that they get the best results if they use a broad range of ad networks. This is where ad mediation proves useful, as it combines different demand sources into an SDK (software development kit). The ad mediation platform is then able to select the highest-paying campaign and automatically fill ad slots.
This is a lot like fishing: you want as many big fish to bite as possible. With this in mind, it’s easy to boost your app’s monetization capabilities with an ad mediation solution.
Step 1: Understand Your Gear
When fishing, you use the right bait for the kind of fish you want to catch. Serving ads is the same: the fish is the customer, the lure is the ad format, and the bite is the customer conversion. If you’re looking for a high-paying consumer, you need to find the right lure and ensure the environment is one where your user will convert.
Just as a more natural-looking lure is more likely to attract fish, an ad which blends into its app environment attracts more users. Native ads tend to perform better than their traditional counterparts because they blend into their environment.
Anticipate Their Movements
What is the average session duration for users in your app? Find out at which stage users tend to leave your app, and consider placing your ad there.
Use the Best Bait
There are huge differences in payouts and types of ad traffic, so it’s essential to find the right source of ads. A mediation platform can choose the highest-paying ad network when sorting through the available options. Advanced solutions can make use of data management platforms to choose more relevant ads for the users in your app.
Step 2: Understand Your Target
Sometimes, you need to throw the line out frequently to catch fish. At other times, you must be patient with a single cast. The frequency of impressions when displaying ads is critical. For many types of ad formats, such as interstitials or video ads, the first time the ad is shown to a user is the most valuable. For other types of ads like banners, repetition is more beneficial.
A delay occurs between the ad request and delivery. If you display the ad immediately, there is a chance that you won’t show all of its elements properly: images and videos can take a few seconds to download. If you are not properly displaying ads, users won’t click on them. But waiting too long between requesting the ad and displaying it means that the request might time out.
Publishers need to pay careful attention to the results of campaigns and take a look at the profile of their users. Their users’ type of internet connection is important in determining average download speeds of apps.
Step 3: Check the Scales
It makes no sense to compare the weight of one fish in pounds to another in kilograms. In the same way, it makes no sense to choose between ad networks based on their reported CPMs. CPM is a cost for the advertiser, but it represents the payout for the publisher. It is calculated as the number of impressions divided by the revenue, and networks can vary when it comes to the amount of registered impressions they count due to variations in policies, for example where a tracking pixel is placed.
Consider the results of two networks:
- Network A had a payout of $10 based on 10,000 impressions, resulting in a CPM of $1.
- Network B had a payout of $10 based on 5,000 impressions, resulting in a CPM of $2.
When individual networks are allowed to measure impressions, confusion over CPMs can lead to publishers making the wrong decisions when selling ad slots. The best way to tackle this is to use an ad mediation solution which measures impressions using a single method, so CPMs are represented fairly and can be easily compared. Ad networks can be ranked according to payouts, and the highest can be prioritized.
App monetization is all about understanding your users. If you can provide them with ads that are relevant, non-intrusive, and infrequent, you can increase engagement by offering your users a better app environment while boosting monetization. Using an ad mediation solution to automate the process makes decision-making faster and easier. And once your ad mediation solution is baiting your hooks and catching your users for you, you’ll have more time to head out for some real fishing.